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Autumn Morning, Yosemite National Park, California

Autumn Morning - Yosemite National Park, CA

Autumn Morning - Yosemite National Park, CA

Mirror like reflections in the Merced river on a beautiful autumn morning in Yosemite National Park, CA

Walking along the banks of the merced river can be such an exploratory experience. Every turn in the river can provide such excellent opportunities to photograph. Sometimes there could be fast rapids and other locations could provide calm waters reflecting anything thats there on its banks.

This photograph was made during my second visit to the park this fall season. I made it a point to skip the usual locations which I already knew, but instead try to walk a lot and find new and interesting subjects to photograph. I was not disappointed, a short walk from the parking area brought me to this scene with stunning reflections.

There is some clutter in this frame, mostly to the left, but I tried to darken them in in post process, so that they don’t take away from the main subject (reflections). Cropping the frame would create undesired proportions which I was not comfortable with. Getting rid of this clutter while composing would have been tough as I was already at the edge of the river, which means I would have had to get into the water to get a clean composition. In the end, I decided there was some subtle symmetry even in this clutter to add to the overall image.

Let me know what you think!

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Lake Sabrina, Bishop Canyon, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection, California

#1 Brilliantly colored trees reflected in Lake Sabrina, California; #2 Bright orange colored aspens on Lake Sabrina’s shore; A small detail from the huge landscape singled out using a long lens

I had posted a shot on Flickr earlier and wrote about my first visit to the Eastern Sierra’s and about the fine morinig here at Lake Sabrina, check it out. This shot that I have here was shot on the same day. I must have made 100′s of photos that day, changing lenses, picking details, changing orientation, shooting panorama’s. This is just split in half compared to my earlier post, here I have use two exposure, manually blended together, one exposure for the sky and the other for the hillside in the shadows.

As I always do, I focussed my long lens at the grove of orange aspens on the middle left of this frame. I stitched 3 vertically oriented shots to get this. By doing so I did increase the number of pixels I have in a frame with same aspect ratio as a single frame, not bad ah?

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection - Detail, California

Lake Sabrina, Fall Reflection - Detail, California

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Morning Mist, June Lake, California

 

Morning Mist and Grass, June Lake, California

Morning Mist and Grass, June Lake, California

Mist rising from the lake surface  at sunrise on a cold autumn morning in June Lake, Eastern Sierras, California

This was shot during my second visit to the eastern sierras this fall. The first visit had generated some wonderful fall color viewing and photographing opportunities, so I kind of had high expectations from my second visit, but due to recent snows, most of the color was knocked down and the weather did not co-operate. I had set up camp at the June Lake Campground, but instead of waking early in the morning and driving a long distance to either South/North Lake or Lake Sabrina (a favourite fall color photographing location), I instead chose to sleep a little late and enjoy the sunrise from the banks of June Lake.

It was also my wife’s first camping out in the cold, well it was 35F – 40F in the night and for someone from the tropics, that’s a lot to tolerate. But the mood at the lake at sunrise with all the mist rising from the surface did compensate for all the cold she had to tolerate and she actually enjoyed being there.

There was sound from a light breeze, the thin layer of mist on the lake surface dancing around with it, but other than that it was completely silent. I noticed these long grass sticking out from the lake bed along with their reflection in the calm waters. Along with the mist and some muted colors, I think it conveys the silent and calm mood pretty well. With no color saturation, I did think about presenting this in BW, but I think there is not much contrast in the scene for that to be effective and also I like the muted colors.

I made this photograph with not much color, while my primary intention of this visit was to to capture vibrant fall colors. Sometimes a pre-conceived idea can completely blind you from seeing everything else that is interesting, but I’m glad that I was able to switch my mindset to adapt what lay before me. I think it is important to be flexible with our plans, when conditions do not co-operate for or original plan to work out.

Here is one from when the first light hit the snow covered peaks.

Sunrise and Morning Mist, June Lake, California

Sunrise and Morning Mist, June Lake, California

Comments and criticism welcomed.

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Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, CA

Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

Reflected Trees, Yosemite National Park, California

Isolated trees with some fall color, reflected in the stillness of the Merced river in Yosemite National Park, California

As you can see from my recent posts, I like to pick out details in the landscape. These details are not visible while driving in a car, so taking a hike along the river was what I did on this autumn morning. With walking you tend to spend more time with a subject, exploring all different possibilites, taking in all the details in the grand landscape.

I was attracted to this scene by the brightly backlit trees. The leaves were shimmering in the morning light and the reflections in this part of the park was just outstanding. I have one more photograph from this short walk that I want to share, but that’s for later. With reflections, the tendency would be to get a perfect symmetrical composition, but here I felt that a little more room in the bottom half would work better. 

The fall color with the dark background is something that is working very well in this photogrpah, but the quality of the light and the natural contrast, both made me wonder how this would look in black and white. So I’ve included the BW version below, let me know which one you like.

Black and White

Black and White

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Ripples and Reflections – Lake Sabrina, CA

Ripples and Reflections - Lake Sabrina, CA

Ripples and Reflections - Lake Sabrina, CA

Ripples created by a boat on the surface of Lake Sabrina in the Eastern Sierras on a beautiful autumn morning. October 2nd 2010“ 

October 2nd was one of those magical days when many things lined up perfectly. I couldn’t have picked a better day to visit the Eastern Sierras for the first time. I had started driving at midnight hoping to reach Lake Sabrina by sunrise and I did. The weather predictions were rather discouraging, but the chances of getting a dynamic image increases with the uncertainty in the weather.

On this morning, the act of sunrise it self was rather dulled by some thick rain clouds in the eastern skies and to add to that there was a steady breeze blowing off all reflections on the lake surface. The grand landscape image with the high peaks, their reflections and with the first light was lost. Things did turn out pretty well half an hour past sunrise and I did get this picture with some beautiful clouds. But once I clicked something that was easily available, I went fishing for those intimate details using my 70-200mm. 

Picking details using my 70-200 can be really a fun experience. As a fishing boat started gliding on the lake surface, I found these patterns created by the ripples. What makes this more interesting is the reflection of the brightly colored aspens lining up the hills above the lake. The wide variety of colors and the distortion created by the ripples gives this an impressionistic feel, although no kind of camera motion was used while creating this. 


Camera : Canon 7D
Lens : Canon 70-200mm F/4L
Tripod : Manfrotto 190x ProB
Cable Release


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